Bill Beckley's Rooster Bed Lying

Bill Beckley’s Rooster Bed Lying, 1971. Photo by Thomas McCarty.

In 2014, the art world couldn’t get enough of flowers. Camille Henrot’s New Museum exhibition, for example, required a weekly visit from Ikebana master Paula Tam to freshen up her live arrangements. For Fall 2015, however, artists have traded flora for fauna. Two new shows, one at Albertz Benda and one at Louis B. James, include the unexpected addition of live birds. At the latter, artist Martin Roth used feathered creatures to provide a flash of color against his stark wall-to-wall landscape. At the former, a rooster sits watch over photographer and sculptor Bill Beckley’s historic installation. What’s the takeaway from these gallery-cum-aviaries besides a fanciful Instagram? Be glad you are not working the front desk.